By Philip Van Cleave
Covington VA --(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Supreme Court issued a bad ruling last week, basically saying that a conviction for any kind of battery, no matter how trivial, against a domestic partner is sufficient for a person to lose his or her firearms rights.
Hit the person with a pillow, push them, poke them, or spit on them – it’s bye-bye gun rights.
Stalin would be proud!
Currently there is no mechanism to get such a conviction set aside so that a person can get their gun rights back.
What we need is to change Virginia law to allow for a person to petition the court where they were convicted to set aside that conviction after, say, 5 years, assuming no intervening convictions and with the court comfortable the person is not a risk to public safety.
I plan on looking for a patron to carry such a bill.
A person losing a Constitutionally guaranteed right for a misdemeanor is wrong and losing those rights forever with no means of getting them back simply cannot stand.
On another note, a conviction for a concealed weapon charge was recently upheld by the Virginia Court of Appeals for man who was standing on part of his driveway that was considered a non-exclusive easement. (The non-exclusive part of the easement was so that a neighbor could get to the neighbor’s own driveway.)
Even though he was standing on his own property, the courts ruled that it was not part of his “curtilage.”
If you don’t have a CHP, you can carry a concealed handgun inside your house and on your curtilage (generally the *immediate* area outside your house, including any nearby sheds, garage, driveway, or in your immediate yard [the part around the house that is normally fenced in]). However, if your driveway is not exclusively yours, then you can run into problems.
Here is the ruling, which talks in detail about curtilage:
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: www.vcdl.org